The Saint Paul Almanac is pleased to announce the seventh in its 2013–2014 season of acclaimed Lowertown Reading Jams, which celebrate the rich literary history of Minnesota’s capital city and the widely popular genre of spoken word.


The “Poetry about Food & Sex” Lowertown Reading Jam will be presented on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, 308 Prince Street in Saint Paul. All ages, no cover, donations welcome. Food and beverages for sale.

“Poetry about Food & Sex”
(and, if we have time… microaggressions)

Featuring performances by
Robert Karimi • May Lee-Yang • Jessica Lopez Lyman • Chaun Webster

Celebrate National Poetry Month with a group of some of the most fabulous Twin Cities poets/activists/storytellers, who will set the table with nourishing delicious poems that will leave you hungry for more. From radical love, to feeding the masses, to Burger King sex, to wannabe porn starification, these sexy poets have run the gamut in their perspectives on the subject. And, yes, don’t worry, we’ll make time to talk about microaggressions…because our performers are far from being one-dimensional! Special aphrodisiac surprises on the Black Dog Café menu, concocted by The Peoples Cook, to get you in the mood before and after.

Watch SPNN’s video of the Reading Jam

Listen to/Download the Reading Jam

[ca_audio url_mp3=”″ url_ogg=”” width=”497″ height=”30″ download=”true” skin=”regular” align=”none”] Download MP3 (right click on Windows/Ctrl + click on Mac and Save As to your hard drive)

About the Performers

karimistandardAt root a storyteller and community engagement specialist, ROBERT FARID KARIMI mixes humor, rasquache aesthetics, and performance to communicate poems and stories that feed audiences an interactive cross-cultural collision of joy, pop culture, and personal history, in theatres, grocery stores, backyards, and off-Broadway. His writings have appeared on NPR and in newspapers, literary journals, and anthologies, most recently Asian American Literary Review. A national poetry slam champion, he has been featured throughout the country at venues such as the Nuyorican Poets Café, Def Poetry Jam, The Chicago Theater, and The Loft. His visual work and public engagement artwork is exhibited at museums and community artspaces worldwide. Throughout the last twenty-two years, he has designed and led arts education opportunities for all ages; taught university performance workshops; mentored the next generation of arts leaders; and shaped the voice of mixed culture arts and literature around the world. Creative Capital, the NEA, the MAP Fund, Zellerbach Foundation, and MSAB have invested in his recent projects, all of which include a community of multidisciplinary artists. He works at ThePeoplesCook as an arts educator, public engagement deviser, playwright, director, and community arts consultant. He has lived and worked in Minnesota since 2006 and is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. For more, go to or

May-Lee-YangMAY LEE-YANG is a playwright, poet, prose writer, and performance artist. She has been hailed by Twin Cities Metro Magazine as “on the way to becoming one of the most powerful and colorful voices in local theater.” Her theater-based works have been presented at Mu Performing Arts, the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT), Out North Theater, the 2011 National Asian American Theater Festival, the Minnesota Fringe Festival, and others. Her plays include The Divorcee Diaries, Confessions of a Lazy Hmong Woman, and Ten Reasons Why I’d Be a Bad Porn Star. She is the author of the children’s book The Imaginary Day  (Minnesota Humanities Center) and has been published in Bamboo Among the Oaks: Contemporary Writing By Hmong Americans, Water~Stone Literary Journal, and others. She has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the National Performance Network, the Midwestern Voices and Visions Residency Award, the Playwright Center, and the Loft Literary Center, and is a winner of the 2011 Bush Leadership Fellowship.

JLopezLyman_photoJESSICA LOPEZ LYMAN was born and raised in St. Paul. As a poet/organizer turned graduate student, Jessica believes deeply in the transformative power of art. She is currently working on a multi-media performance piece, Hair Volume, an intergenerational and cross-racial exploration of women and gender non-conforming people’s relationship to hair. Jessica’s work is inspired by feminists of color, fueled by Tapatio hot sauce, and stimulated by Danny Trejo movies.

chaun-websterCHAUN WEBSTER is a poet, publisher, and graphic designer working at the intersections of the Black Arts Movement and Jazz, Concrete Poetry and Graffiti.  Webster’s poetry and general art practice investigate the assumptions of legitimacy in knowledge production, and the psychic terror employed by media in order to maintain power relationships. In praise of Webster’s latest book, Because When We Say NAT It Be Writ Large, National Poetry Award winner Douglas Kearney says “Webster’s words run off into the bush, not to flee but to ambush, not to hide but to shake every tree.”  In 2009 Webster founded Free Poet’s Press, a small publishing entity in the tradition of Broadside Press and with the mission of Black and Brown communities recognizing their inherent right to create and own what they’ve created.  You can learn more about Webster and Free Poet’s Press at


The “Poetry about Food & Sex” Lowertown Reading Jam will be presented on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, 308 Prince Street in Saint Paul.

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